Chimp Attack: Pet Primate Steals Keys, Escapes Home, Mauls Visitor

A woman is suffering from life-threatening injuries following a chimpanzee attack by a well-known primate. Travis the chimp, an animal who had appeared in TV commercials, lived as a pet inside a home in Stamford, Connecticut. He let himself out of the house on Monday and mauled a visitor on her way in.

Chimp Attack: “Lengthy and Vicious”

Investigators believe Travis got ahold of the house keys and escaped from the home. The chimp went outside and began banging on car doors, the New York Post reports. His owner, Sandra Herold, called her friend to help calm him down.

But when that woman, Charla Nash, arrived, things took an even worse turn. Reports indicate Travis jumped on Nash and started biting and generally attacking her. Officers describe the interaction as “lengthy and vicious.”

Herold was unable to pull the chimp off of Nash and ended up stabbing him with a kitchen knife and hitting him with a shovel — but Travis was still relentless in attacking the friend, police say. Herold called 911. When officers arrived, though, they say the animal went after them. They ended up shooting him “multiple times.”

Travis ran away and went back inside the house, where investigators later found him deceased.

Nash was left with serious injuries on her face, neck, and hands. Some neighbors report her hands may have been completely bitten off.

Travis the Chimpanzee: An Atypical Pet

Sandra Herold had owned Travis, the chimpanzee, for 15 years. Stamford police say they had been called to the home for an escape-related incident once before, in 2003. That time, Travis got out of the house and “wreaked havoc” on the neighborhood’s streets for a couple of hours before he was captured and brought back to Herold’s house.

Chimp Attack Video

The following news report shows video of Travis, along with images of the home and interviews with neighbors.